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Former Augusta Commissioner Sammie Sias Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison

Former Augusta Commissioner Sammie Sias was sentenced this morning to 36 months in prison, nearly a year after he was convicted of destroying records in a federal investigation and lying about it to investigators in the case. The 68-year-old Sias of Hephzibah was serving as the District 4 Augusta Commissioner at the time of his arrest in 2019. The FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were investigating then-Commissioner Sias' role in expenditures of Richmond County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds.  Sias was overseeing operations at the Jamestown Community Center at the time of the investigation.  "Within hours of an FBI agent's visit, Sias deleted approximately 7,000 relevant files from a laptop in his possession that belonged to the Jamestown Community Center," according to a news release from the United States Attorney's Office. Officials said Sias also lied to an FBI agent when he said he had provided all files in his possession related to the investigation.  A grand jury later named Sias in a two-count felony indictment after a forensic examination revealed evidence of the missing files on the laptop. During a trial in July of 2022, a jury found Sias guilty of Destruction, Alteration, or Falsification of Records in Federal Investigations and False Statement or Representation Made to a Department or Agency of the United States. During today's sentencing, Judge Randall Hall ordered Sias to pay a fine of $5,000 in addition to 36 months behind bars.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Sias will report to prison Monday, August 21 by 2 pm.  He requested to serve his time in Estill, South Carolina. Sias has 14 days to appeal the sentencing.